North Uist Distillery launches new bespoke bottle design for Downpour Gin in moves to reduce carbon footprint and encourage refills at their island home

Award-winning North Uist Distillery has launched a new premium bottle for their flagship Downpour Gin as part of exciting growth plans for 2022.

Founded by Kate Macdonald and Jonny Ingledew, North Uist Distillery’s new bottle features a bold and eye-catching design, with several nods to the company’s Hebridean heritage. The brand’s strapline, ‘Island Life Distilled’, is embossed on the neck of each bottle, with the body featuring the Downpour logo surrounded by the brand’s signature rain pattern, which wraps around the new bottle. 

With a focus on increasing environmental consciousness, founders Kate Macdonald and Jonny Ingledew enlisted high-quality Italian glassmakers Vetroelite to produce the new bottle, designed by Glasgow-based Jamhot Design. 

The new bottle uses 38% less glass than the original Downpour design, a natural cork stopper with a wooden top, and the use of biodegradable inks ensures that the new bottle can be recycled alongside clear household glass. This further adds to their environmental credentials, with North Uist Distillery having been plastic free since inception, using only cardboard in their postal packaging. The distillery are also aiming to become B Corp certified.

North Uist Distillery, Downpour Scottish Dry Gin, new bottle launch 2022

The bottle’s neck has also been designed to be easily used at the new refill station at North Uist Distillery’s home at Nunton Steadings and the distillery is working towards launching a postal refill system later this year for off-island customers.

North Uist Distillery has proven to be a hit not just locally, but with tourists alike. Situated in Benbecula, alongside the beautiful Culla Bay beach, the opening of the Downpour Shop in May 2021 attracted over 10,000 visitors over its first summer of business. The small team are keen to increase that figure this summer, and will welcome the return of tasting sessions and tours which were also launched in August 2021.

The team are also pressing ahead with the opening of its new Island Life Bar, for visitors to enjoy a Downpour gin and tonic, in the courtyard of the steadings.

Food and Drink Co-ordinator for Outer Hebrides Tourism, Julie Sloan, said: 

“Jonny, Kate and the team at North Uist Distillery know how beautiful the islands are. They are making significant efforts to ensure developments in their business put sustainability as a priority. A new bottle using less materials and a gin refill station can only be a positive move for locals and visitors alike. Even though this new bottle can be fully recycled it is such a lovely design I will personally be keeping it and refilling.”

Kate Macdonald said “We are delighted to launch a new bottle for our original Downpour Gin during what is an exciting time for North Uist Distillery. We wanted to create a new bespoke bottle which would enhance our brand while representing our Hebridean heritage and the Downpour Gin inside. Each bottle is distilled, bottled and labelled on the island to enable the business to have a long-term benefit for the community. We currently employ ten people and will look to continue to add to our team in the future. 

“Our original bottle had a very heavy base which required a lot of glass. As part of the redesign, we have made sure that the new bottle is more lightweight and uses less glass than our original bottle. We have also designed it to fit into the refill station at Nunton Steadings, where anyone can come along and get their bottle refilled. This is an important development which will help us go some way to achieving one of our major goals which is to become more sustainable as a business. We believe we now have a bottle which more people will want to keep and one that will also encourage refills at our Nunton Steadings shop.”

North Uist Distillery, Downpour Scottish Dry Gin, new bottle launch 2022

The historic 18th century Steadings, purchased in 2020, form an integral part of Kate and Jonny’s plan to bring increased employment and industry to the island as they look to forge ahead with whisky development in the near future.

• For further information or to purchase a bottle of Downpour, please visit:

• Follow North Uist Distillery on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – Downpour Shop, Island Life Bar and tastings are running all summer 2022.

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